Are dating apps safe? be it a lifelong relationship or an one-night stand

Are dating apps safe? be it a lifelong relationship or an one-night stand

We have been familiar with entrusting dating apps with your secrets that are innermost. Just exactly just How carefully do they regard this information?

Looking for one’s destiny online — be it a one-night stand — has been pretty typical for quite a while. Dating apps are actually element of our daily life. To obtain the perfect partner, users of these apps will be ready to expose their title, career, workplace, where they prefer to go out, and substantially more besides. Dating apps in many cases are aware of things of a fairly intimate nature, such as the periodic nude picture. But exactly just just just how very very very carefully do these apps handle such information? Kaspersky Lab made a decision to place them through their safety paces.

Our specialists learned the most used mobile dating that is online (Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, Paktor), and identified the key threats for users. We informed the designers ahead of time about most of the weaknesses detected, and also by the full time this text was launched some had recently been fixed, among others had been slated for modification into the forseeable future. But, don’t assume all designer promised to patch every one of the flaws.

Threat 1. who you really are?

Our scientists found that four of this nine apps they investigated allow prospective crooks to find out who’s hiding behind a nickname centered on data supplied by users by themselves. As an example, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anybody see a user’s specified destination of work or research. Applying this information, it is feasible to locate their social media marketing records and see their names that are real. Happn, in specific, utilizes Facebook is the reason data change with all the host. With reduced work, anybody can find out of the names and surnames of Happn users as well as other information from their Facebook pages.

If somebody intercepts traffic from the device that is personal Paktor installed, they could be amazed to discover that they are able to begin to see the email addresses of other software users.

Works out you’ll be able to determine Happn and Paktor users various other media that are social% of that time, having a 60% rate of success for Tinder and 50% for Bumble.

Threat 2. Where are you currently?

If some body desires to understand your whereabouts, six associated with nine apps will assist. Only OkCupid, Bumble, and Badoo keep user location information under lock and key. Every one of the other apps suggest the exact distance between both you and the person you’re interested in. By getting around and signing information in regards to the distance involving the both of you, it is very easy to figure out the location that is exact of “prey.”

Happn perhaps not only shows exactly exactly just how numerous meters split up you against another individual, but in addition the amount of times your paths have actually intersected, rendering it also much easier to monitor some body down. That’s really the app’s feature that is main since unbelievable as we believe it is.

Threat 3. Unprotected data transfer

Many apps transfer information into the host over a channel that is ssl-encrypted but you will find exceptions.

As our scientists discovered, the most insecure apps in this respect is Mamba. The analytics module found in the Android variation will not encrypt information concerning the unit (model, serial quantity, etc.), while the iOS version links towards the host over HTTP and transfers all information unencrypted (and therefore unprotected), communications included. Such information is not merely viewable, but additionally modifiable. As an example, it is feasible for a party that is third alter “How’s it going?” right into a demand for cash.

Mamba isn’t the sole software that lets you manage someone else’s account regarding the straight straight straight back of a insecure connection. Therefore does Zoosk. But, our scientists could actually intercept Zoosk information just whenever uploading brand new pictures or videos — and following our notification, the developers immediately fixed the difficulty.

Tinder, Paktor, Bumble for Android os, and Badoo for iOS also upload photos via HTTP, makes it possible for an attacker to locate down which profiles their victim that is potential is.

With all the Android os variations of Paktor, Badoo, and Zoosk, other details — for instance, GPS information and device information — can result in the hands that are wrong.

Threat 4. Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack

Almost all internet dating app servers use the HTTPS protocol, meaning that, by checking certification authenticity, it’s possible to shield against MITM assaults, when the victim’s traffic passes through a rogue host on its option to the bona fide one. The scientists installed a fake certification to discover in the event that apps would always check its authenticity; they were in effect facilitating spying on other people’s traffic if they didn’t.

It ended up that a lot of apps (five away from nine) are at risk of MITM assaults as they do not validate the authenticity of certificates. And almost all of the apps authorize through Facebook, therefore the shortage of certificate verification can result in the theft for the short-term authorization key in the shape of a token. Tokens are legitimate for 2–3 months, throughout which time crooks get access to a number of the victim’s social media account information as well as complete usage of their profile regarding the app that is dating.

Threat 5. Superuser liberties

Whatever the kind that is exact of the application stores regarding the unit, such information could be accessed with superuser liberties. This issues just Android-based devices; spyware in a position to gain root access in iOS is really a rarity.

Caused by the analysis is not as much as encouraging: Eight of this nine applications for Android os are prepared to offer a lot of information to cybercriminals with superuser access liberties. As a result, the scientists could actually get authorization tokens for social media marketing from the majority of the apps under consideration. The qualifications had been encrypted, nevertheless the decryption key ended up being effortlessly extractable through the application it self.

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Happn, and Paktor all shop history that is messaging pictures of users along with their tokens. Therefore, the owner of superuser access privileges can certainly access information that is confidential.


The research indicated that numerous dating apps do perhaps perhaps perhaps perhaps not handle users’ sensitive and painful information with enough care. That’s no explanation never to utilize such services — you just have to comprehend the difficulties and, where possible, minmise the potential risks.